Yet another compendium of lesser rants to send you off into a merry weekend…
Katie’s Got a Job
So Katie Couric is moving from NBC to CBS. Why does anyone care? It’s just a talking head job. Big deal! Anyone with a bit of charm and an overly clean set of choppers could do the job just as well. Sure, she’s making “television history” by being the first woman to hold that job, but are we still living in a time when every little milestone of equality needs to be touted like it’s a revolution?
And what’s that pay rate? She’s reportedly making $65 million in a five-year contract. That’s $13 million dollars a year just to read a daily mash of infotainment that some people still think is “the news.”
Katie, surely you could live on something reasonable like maybe $2 million. If you were really committed to the news you would give back that other $11 million a year and insist they use it to hire a bunch of actual journalists and send them out into the world. You’d also insist they use some of that money to hire good editors, and producers who have a sense of news as information, not entertainment. Or maybe working for a reasonable salary would lessen the network’s reliance on advertising and product placement, allowing you and your team to actually bring us the news. But that assumption, of course, is based on the incorrect notion that the advertising is there to support the news, when in fact the news is simply a device for delivering advertising.
[Update: I should be clear; I would be just as annoyed over Couric’s salary if she were a man. Gender has nothing to do with this, as far as I’m concerned. That’s not to say that all equality milestones shouldn’t be noted. For example, someday there will be a female President of the U.S., and that will be worth noting — because that is an important job. But what is so important about being the anchor of a network news show? It’s important to the network’s shareholders, but it’s not important to you or to me. What really bugs me is the way that positions such as this are elevated into the realm of importance when really they aren’t. Or if they are, they shouldn’t be. What kind of society do we have if we are profoundly influenced by a newsreader? Network news anchors are only important because the networks tell us they are, and we beleive it. If you ask me (and I know you’re asking me) the journalist out in the field risking his or her ass in a war zone or a riot, or the producers who make good decisions, are far more important than the toothy-grinned face who just reads the news and attracts eyeballs for the advertisers.]
We Need an Apocalypse For Stupid People
After all, it would get rid of the some of the insanely stupid people we read about every day, such as these guys. That’s a link to a story about a taxi driver who alerted the police because a guy he had dropped off at the Durham Tees Valley Airport had been playing songs by The Clash and Led Zepplin during his ride to the airport. Apparently the songs contained lyrics that might, if you smoke enough dope, sound like calls for terrorism. The best (worst) part of the story is that the police deemed this significant enough to pull the guy off the plane.
Oh, by the way, in case you’re wondering where the Durham Tees Valley Airport is, you won’t find out by reading the article. Nor will you find out by going to the Durham Tees Valley Airport Web site. Even their “Location” and “Contact Us” pages doesn’t actually tell you their location other than that it’s probably in the U.K. somewhere. Fortunately, Wikipedia comes to the rescue again.
Enough With the Legs
Sharon Stone is apparently annoyed that Basic Instinct 2 isn’t doing so well at the box office. I count myself among the apparent many who have no desire to see the movie. While I don’t like to judge a book by its cover — or in this case a movie by its advertising — I find it highly annoying that the publicity for Basic Instinct 2 focuses so much on Sharon Stone’s crossed legs; presumably on the assumption that it will remind us of her famous uncrossed legs, as seen in the original Basic Instinct.
A few years ago, Stone was complaining about how she felt exploited because of that famous leg-uncrossing scene. Now she seems to embrace it, riding the wave of the promise of more crotch shots. In fact, she wants to direct the third installation.
But what really bugs me is the lack of imagination shown by putting so much focus on the obvious. Just about every publicity still is centered on the legs in a manner that draws attention to the anticipation of more views up the skirt. How boring. Maybe if I were 15 years old, but hey, this is 2006. What 15-year old is going to pay $13 to get a half-second glimpse up the skirt of a woman old enough to be his mother? What adult, in this age of ubiquitous free Internet and television booty, is tantalized by overplayed, ham-fisted teasers that promise to deliver only the quickest glimpse, and then only maybe.
No. Tantalize us with the promise of a good story, or of strong and daring characters. Then show us the crotch and we’ll all be really impressed. But don’t just wave the legs in our faces and expect us to lap it up like gullible kittens.
So there. Have a nice weekend!